SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The clock is ticking in Springfield, but lawmakers have still not reached a deal on the budget, saying that things are still in flux as residents wait for a final version.
It had been just over 24 hours at the time of this writing since Governor JB Pritzker, Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon stood together and said that they had a deal.
The budget was discussed in committee Thursday morning, but there still has not been a vote in the Capitol. The lead budgeter for Senate Democrats said that there is an amendment coming, showing that the announcement that they had a deal was premature.
Senate Republicans said that they are at the table during the discussions, but everything is up in the air right now.
“The agreement we’ve reached will produce another responsible balanced budget that reinforces our state’s economic stability, while making progress on key issues for the people of Illinois,” said Senator Don Harmon.
“I think everything’s very fluid right now, and I think that then it’s not just on the Senate side. I think it’s the whole process is very fluid right now,” added Senator Chapin Rose. “I think the next 12 hours will determine a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
Part of the amendment that is going to be filed will bring additional money for disability services in the state.
The budget puts a major emphasis on education investments from pre-K to college. A quarter of a billion dollars would go towards the first year of “Smart Start Illinois,” Pritzker’s plan to make preschool more accessible for every child in the state.
In addition, $350 million is also set aside for the evidence-based funding model. It uses certain metrics to determine how much money schools need to give students a proper education.
“Because of the state’s dedication to making this continued investment in K-12, as our spending on K-12 in Illinois actually is ahead of where it was two decades ago on an inflation adjusted basis, not by a lot by a couple of percentage points,” said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.
The budget would also give an additional $100 million towards “MAP Grants,” which help students afford the cost of college.